The Williams community notes the passing of four members of the faculty since last fall: John A. MacFadyen ’45, Philip K. Hastings ’44, Olga “Ollie” Beaver and Henry Bruton.
MacFadyen, the Edna McConnell Clark Professor of Geology, Emeritus, died on Sept. 1, 2012. During his 31 years on the faculty, “Black Jack,” as he was known, updated the geology department and introduced oceanography to the curriculum. MacFadyen spent his retirement working as a research associate at the Mystic Seaport Museum.
Hastings, a professor of psychology and political science, emeritus, died on Nov. 13. During his more than 35 years as a faculty member, he championed interdisciplinary academic work and founded the Roper Center, the largest archive of polling data worldwide. After his retirement Hastings remained in Williamstown for 20 years, running a global consulting firm that analyzed polling data.
Beaver, despite advancing illness, taught until just weeks before her death on Dec. 7, 2012. She joined the math department in 1979, not long after her husband Donald deB. Beaver became a Williams professor of the history of science. Beaver dedicated herself to assisting women and minorities in the sciences, including by helping to found and then direct the Summer Science Program. Her research focused on measure and probability theory, and she was the second person ever to win the Louise Hay Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics.
Bruton, the John J. Gibson Professor of Economics, Emeritus, died on Jan. 31, 2013. He joined Williams’ economics department in 1962 and taught a core course on economic development at the Center for Development Economics that drew on his personal experiences in Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines. He also helped to establish the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences.